It’s taken me a while to write about this hike. The hike was beautiful, but it was a major personal challenge. When I did this hike I was only seven months post my sixth knee surgery. I’d done several hikes (and walks) in the previous months, but none of them prepared me for Bandera.
There were several long, steady grade switchbacks leading up to a “Y” in the trail. A left would have taken us to Mason Lake, but after making it that far we decided to continue straight up to the peak of Bandera. From the “Y” on it was rock scramble after rock scramble. There were no trees and the temps approached 90 degrees fahrenheit.
I struggled…A LOT…but I had gone too far to turn back. At the top there was no doubt it was worth it. We were in need of water. We had enough for the day, but after a hiker training for Rainier passed us on the way up he let us know he would have extra water to give away at the top. Knowing that we guzzled more water than we would have otherwise. I wasn’t aware, until that day, some hikers carry excess water when training to simulate excess weight in their packs.
We spent time hanging out at the top with other successful hikers, but inevitably we had to head back down and that was an even bigger challenge.
I could not have been prouder of myself.
For more detailed information about the hike checkout Hiking with My Brother (my go to hiking guide for the Pacific Northwest).